Sunday, 22 December 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 17 Roundup: Dortmund and Leverkusen disappoint

As the Bundesliga finished off its 2013 schedule, FC Bayern was missing, enroute to a fifth cup in Morroco.  Matchday 17 was disappointing for both second place Bayer Leverkusen and last year's Champions League finalist Borussia Dortmund.  As the year ends, with one game in hand, Bayern has a 12 point lead over Dortmund and a seven point lead over Bayer Leverkusen.

Schalke 04, which will be meeting Real Madrid in the knock out round, did not convince anyone of its ability to get a decent result against the Real stars.  In a scrappy match Schalke managed a scoreless draw against Nuernberg, a side that has yet to register a victory this season.  Leverkusen dropped three points in Bremen, moving the Hanseaten into 12th spot, while Leverkusen remains in second.

In the Friday night opener, Frankfurt and Augsburg fought to a 1-1 draw, leaving Frankfurt just one point out of the relegation zone.  Raul Bobadilla opened the scoring for Augsburg, but Frankfurt's Jan Rosenthal equalized then minutes later.  Augsburg has a respectable 17 game finish in the top half of the league.

Borussia Dortmund's match against Hertha BSC Berlin should have been an easy one on paper, especially at home.  With a number of injuries, it is pretty apparent that this side is not the one that was fielded last year.  While Marco Reus scored Dortmund's first goal, Sami Allagui had a part in both Berlin goals. An Allagui pass to Ramos resulted in the equalizer, while Allagui put in the second himself.  The win moves Berlin into sixth spot, ahead of Schalke on goal difference. Dortmund trails Bayern by 12 points and Leverkusen by five. 

Werder Bremen held on to a 1-0 win over Leverkusen, despite it's 21 point deficit on the league's second placed club.  Bremen scored on a quick counter 15 minutes from the final whistle and after that just held on.  Bremen moves into 12th spot, while Leverkusen is 7 off pace from league leader Bayern.

SC Freiburg won its third match of the season after defeating Hannover 2-1, but remains in the relegation zone,  one point behind Frankfurt. Hamburg dropped three points at home against Mainz, finishing off in 14th spot after 17 matches.  Mainz is in ninth spot.  Braunschweig won its third match by edging out a 1-0 victory over Hoffenheim. The newly promoted club sits at the bottom of the league after 17 with 11 points.

Sunday's match featured Gladbach and Wolfsburg.  While the sides remained scoreless in the first half, the ball found the back of the net four times in the second half.  Wolfsburg took the lead, but Gladbach got the equalizer on a goal from Rafael and took a 2-1 lead shortly after on a free kick. Wolfsburg was able to get an equalizer and the sides parted with a point each.  The point was enough to move Gladbach into third spot ahead of Dortmund.

20.12.2013, 20.30    Eintracht Frankfurt vs FC Augsburg    1-1
   
21.12.2013, 15.30    Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha BSC    1-2 
21.12.2013, 15.30    Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen    1-0   
21.12.2013, 15.30    SC Freiburg vs Hannover 96    2-1   
21.12.2013, 15.30    Hamburger SV vs FSV Mainz 05    2-3   
21.12.2013, 15.30    Eintr. Braunschweig vs 1899 Hoffenheim    1-0  
21.12.2013, 18.30    1. FC Nürnberg vs Schalke 04    0-0
   
22.12.2013, 15.30    Bor. Mönchengladbach vs VfL Wolfsburg    2-2  
29.01.2014, 20.00    VfB Stuttgart vs Bayern München    (-:-)

Posn  Team             GP   W   D   L    GF/GA   Points
1      FC Bayern        16    14   2    0       42:8         44
2      Leverkusen       17    12   1    4       32:16       37
3      M'gladbach       17    10   3    4       35:19       33
4      Dortmund         17    10   2    5       38:20       32
5      Wolfsburg         17      9   3     5      28:19       30
6      Hertha BSC       17     8  4     5       27:20       28
7      Schalke             17      8   4    5       32:26       28
8      Augsburg           17     7   3    7      21:25        24
9      Mainz                17      7   3    7      25:32       24
10    Stuttgart             16     5    4   7      28:29        19
11    Hoffenheim        17     4    6   7      36:38        19
12    Bremen               17     5     4   7    22:37        19
13    Hannover           17     5    3    9     23:31        18
14    Hamburg            17     4    4    9     33:38        16
15    Frankfurt            17     3     6   8     20:29        15
16    Freiburg              17     3     5   9     16:31       14
17    Nürnberg             17    0    11   6     17:33       11
18    B'schweig            17     3     2  12    10:32       11

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 17 Preview: Bayern and Leverkusen on top before winter break

When the Bundesliga takes to the pitch this weekend, two things won't change, regardless of results.  Bayern Munich will remain and top and Bayern Leverkusen will come in second ahead of the winter break.  Gladbach has a chance to move ahead of Dortmund, pending the outcome of their games.

Bayern will not play their matchday 17 game until January 29th.  The team is currently at the FIFA Club Word Cup tournament in Morocco and has qualified for the final, which will be played on Saturday.

Leverkusen travels to Werder Bremen on Saturday.  The Hanseaten are just one point out of the relegation zone, while Leverkusen trails Bayern by seven point.  As of late Leverkusen has performed well and should be able to walk away both all three points in Bremen.  Borussia Dortmund hosts Hertha BSC Berlin.  Berlin is two points behind Schalke, which occupies the last Euro League qualifying position now.  This should be a competitive match, which could get either way.

Gladbach, currently in fourth spot and equal with Dortmund in points hosts Wolfsburg on Sunday.  Both Gladbach and the Wolves have only dropped four matches in 16 and this should be one of the most interesting showdowns this weekend. 

Schalke 04 travels to Nuernberg, which is still chasing its first victory of the season.  Nuernberg's balance sheet in 16 games stands at ten draws and  six losses.  Schalke will be striving to close the gap with Wolfsburg or at least maintain the current two point difference.  Nuerberg is definitely in a position to take one point at home.

The remaining three Saturday matches feature SC Freiburg against Hannover 96,  Hamburg hosting Mainz and Braunschweig against Hoffenheim.   On Friday the matchday opens in Frankfurt, when the fiesty side from Augsburg test the struggling Eintracht. The first half of the season was a successful one for Augsburg, while Frankfurt is just one point out of the relegation zone with 14 points.  Whether or not Frankfurt can move ahead Bremen remains to be seen.

Some trivia and rumours that are making the rounds have been noted in NZ 3 News and here is some of the take:


Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich is in Morocco, seeking to win the world club title, so Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund have an opportunity to make up some ground in the last round before the winter break.

No matter what, Bayern will spend the break atop the standings, seven points ahead of Leverkusen and 12 points ahead of Dortmund. Bayern kicks off the second half of the season on Jan. 24 against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Leverkusen travels to Werder Bremen and Dortmund hosts Hertha Berlin. Here are five things to know about the Bundesliga weekend:  Read more

There won't be any significant changes in the league table, especially at the top an bottom, but one can expect a few exciting and hard fought matches. 

20.12.2013, 20.30    Eintracht Frankfurt vs FC Augsburg    1-1
   
21.12.2013, 15.30    Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha BSC    1-2 
21.12.2013, 15.30    Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen    1-0   
21.12.2013, 15.30    SC Freiburg vs Hannover 96    2-1   
21.12.2013, 15.30    Hamburger SV vs FSV Mainz 05    2-3   
21.12.2013, 15.30    Eintr. Braunschweig vs 1899 Hoffenheim    1-0  
21.12.2013, 18.30    1. FC Nürnberg vs Schalke 04    0-0
   
22.12.2013, 15.30    Bor. Mönchengladbach vs VfL Wolfsburg    (-:-)   
29.01.2014, 20.00    VfB Stuttgart vs Bayern München    (-:-)

Posn  Team             GP   W   D   L    GF/GA   Points
1      FC Bayern        16    14   2    0       42:8         44
2      Leverkusen       17    12   1    4       32:16       37
3      Dortmund         17    10   2    5       38:20       32
4      M'gladbach       16    10   2    4       33:17       32
5      Wolfsburg         16      9   2     5      26:17       29
6      Hertha BSC       17     8  4     5       27:20       28
7      Schalke             17      8   4    5       32:26       28
8      Augsburg           17     7   3    7      21:25        24
9      Mainz                17      7   3    7      25:32       24
10    Stuttgart             16     5    4   7      28:29        19
11    Hoffenheim        17     4    6   7      36:38        19
12    Bremen               17     5     4   7    22:37        19
13    Hannover           17     5    3    9     23:31        18
14    Hamburg            17     4    4    9     33:38        16
15    Frankfurt            17     3     6   8     20:29        15
16    Freiburg              17     3     5   9     16:31       14
17    Nürnberg             17    0    11   6     17:33       11
18    B'schweig            17     3     2  12    10:32       11

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 16: Bayern is Autumn champion, Dortmund falls 12 points behind

Bayern Munich extended its undefeated streak in the Bundesliga to 41, with a 3-1 victory over Hamburg, to become unofficial autumn champion (Herbstmeister) with one game to go prior to the midway point of the season.  Bayern won`t be playing that match against VFB Stuttgart until January 29th.  Meanwhile Dortmund came back from a two goal deficit to, at least, capture one point in a 2-2 draw against Hoffenheim, but is trailing Bayern by 12 points and Leverkusen by five.  Bayer Leverkusen is not playing until Sunday.

Bayern, whose last loss in the domestic league dates back to October 12 last year, moved ahead on a goal by Mario Mandzukic (42nd) and a second by Mario Goetze (52nd).  Hamburg`s Pierre Michelle-Lassoga got one back for Hamburg in the 87th minute, but Xerdan Shaqiri put the game away in injury time.

Borussia Dortmund took an early deficit in Sinsheim on goals from Hoffenheim`s Sven Schiplock and Kevin Volland. Dortmund got one back just before the halftime whistle on a goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.  Lukasz Piszczek got the equalizer in the second half.

Wolfsburg established itself in fifth spot with a 3-1 win over Stuttgart, while Augsburg dismantled the league taillight Eintracht Braunschweig 4-1.  1.FC Nuernberg continues to chase its first victory after voiding a 3-0 lead over Hannover and the north German side turned the loss around to a 3-3 tie. The fiesty Franken with a record of 0-10-6 have accumulated only ten points in 17 games.

In the league opener on Friday Hertha BSC Berlin defeated Werder Bremen 3-2 to move into sixth spot ahead of Schalke, which plays tomorrow.  Mainz and Borussia Moenchengladbach fought to a scoreless draw, but the side maintained its fourth place in the league after Dortmunds draw.

On Sunday Schalke 04 defeated struggling SC Freiburg 2-0 on an on goal by by Nicolas Hoefler just before the halfway mark.  Farfan settled the match for Schalke in the 67th minute. Freiburg remains in a relegation spot, while Schalke moved into sixth spot, two points behind Wolfsburg. Eintracht Frankfurt edged out Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 on a second half header by Marco Russ in the 61st minute.  Despite Leverkusen's constant bombardment, Eintracht's keeper Trapp kept Frankfurt ahead.  Joselu missed a penalty kick injury time for Frankfurt, but  the 1-0 was enough to end Leverkusen's home winning streak. Leverkusen now trails Bayern Munich by seven points and leads Dortmund and Gladbach by five.  Failing a disaster, Bayern Munich is well on its way to another championship. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
13.12.2013, 20.30    Hertha BSC -     Werder Bremen    3:2    
14.12.2013, 15.30    Bayern München -     Hamburger SV    3-1   
14.12.2013, 15.30    Hannover 96 -     1. FC Nürnberg   3-3   
14.12.2013, 15.30    1899 Hoffenheim -     Borussia Dortmund   2-2  
14.12.2013, 15.30    FSV Mainz 05 -     Bor. Mönchengladbach    0-0   
14.12.2013, 15.30    FC Augsburg -     Eintr. Braunschweig    4-1    
14.12.2013, 18.30    VfL Wolfsburg -     VfB Stuttgart    3-1  
15.12.2013, 15.30    Schalke 04 -     SC Freiburg    2-0   
15.12.2013, 17.30    Bayer Leverkusen -     Eintracht Frankfurt    0-1

Posn  Team             GP   W   D   L    GF/GA   Points
1      FC Bayern        16    14   2    0       42:8         44
2      Leverkusen       16    12   1    3       32:15       37
3      Dortmund         16    10   2    4       37:18       32
4      M'gladbach       16    10   2    4       33:17       32
5      Wolfsburg         16      9   2     5      26:17       29
6      Schalke             16      8   3    5       32:26       27
7      Hertha BSC       16     7  4     5       25:19       25
8      Augsburg           16     7   2    7      20:24        23
9      Mainz                16      6   3    7      22:29       21
10    Stuttgart             16     5    4   7      28:29        19
11    Hoffenheim        16     4    6   6      36:37       19
12    Hannover           16     5    3    8     22:29       18
13    Hamburg            16     4    4    8     31:35        16
14    Bremen               16     4     4   7    21:37        16
15    Frankfurt            16     3     5   8     19:28        14
16    Freiburg              16     2     5   9     14:30       11
17    Nürnberg             16     0   10   6     17:33       10
18    B'schweig            16     2     2  12      9:32        8

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 15 roundup: Bayern nets seven, Dortmund defeated by Leverkusen

FC Bayern Munich humiliated Werder Bremen by scoring no less than seven times in Bremen.  Assani Lukimya scored into his own net and that was followed just six minutes later by Van Buyten.  Frank Ribery upped the score to 3-0 just before the half.  Mandzukic scored the first in the second half followed by Thomas Mueller shortly thereafter.  Frank Ribery made it six and Goetze scored the seventh just before the final whistle.

The match of the weekend was the encounter between Borussia Dortmund and Leverkusen and the Dortmund side disappointed at home.  A goal by Son in the 18th minute was enough for Bayer Leverkusen to stretch its lead over Dortmund by six point.  Leverkusen remains behind Bayern by four points.  Leverkusen played solid as a defensive unit, not permitting a lot of room for Dortmund to operate.  The match became scrappy in the second half.  For Dortmund there is concern with two more injuries, Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin, ahead of their Champions League match in Marseille.

1.FC Nuernberg remains without a win in 15 starts, despite an early goal by Per Nilsson in the tenth minute. The struggling Franken held on to the lead until the 75th minute, when Shinji Okazaki struck with 15 minutes to go to salvage a point for Mainz in a 1-1 draw, bringing Nuernbergs 15 game record to nine draws and six losses.  Mainz currently holds eighths spot.

 Things look like for Schalke 04 when Farfan scored he got ahead goal, but Raffael equalized in the 24th minute.   Gladbach overtook the proceedings after a handball by Hoewedes, which Max Kruse had no trouble converting.  This puts Gladbach equal in points with Dortmund and Schalke remains in fifth spot three points behind.

Augsburg moved into eighth spot after edging out a 1-0 win over Hamburg.  Raul Bobadilla scored the goal before 20 minutes were up, leaving Hamburg in 13th spot.  Hoffenheim captured an important away victory in Frankfurt.  Sven Shipplock put Hoffenheim ahead, while Joselu got the equalizer within the first five minutes of the match.  Robert Firmino sealed the deal for Hoffenheim after only ten minutes.

Werder Bremen captured three valuable points in Freiburg, when the side handily defeated the southern Germans.  Arnold (8th minute) and Olic (11th minute) got the early lead and Freiburg seldom created any opportunities to get an equalizer. Freiburg put in a special effort in the final ten minutes and it was too little to late.  Schaefer upped the score to 3-0 in the 90th minute in favour of Bremen.  The win puts Bremen into 13th spot with 16 points, even with Ham4burg and Stuttgart.  For Freiburg, which has had a disappointing season, the loss leaves them in a relegation spot with 11 points.

Hertha BSC Berlin walked away with a 2-0 victory in Braunschweig on goals by Ramos (20th) and Cigerci (80th).  While Berlin controlled the first half, Braunschweig pushed hard in the second, but inaccurate passing, lack of team cohesiveness prevented the newly  promoted club from scoring.  The win keeps Berlin in competition with for a Euro League spot, while Braunschweig continues to bring up the rear.

6 December

1. FC Nürnberg vs FSV Mainz 05  1-1

7 December   
   
Bor. Mönchengladbach vs Schalke 04   2-1
VfB Stuttgart vs Hannover 96   4-2
Werder Bremen vs Bayern München   0-7
Hamburger SV vs FC Augsburg   0-1
Eintracht Frankfurt vs 1899 Hoffenheim   1-2    
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen   0-1

8 December
   
SC Freiburg vs VfL Wolfsburg    0-3   
Eintr. Braunschweig vs Hertha BSC   0-2


Posn  Team             GP   W   D   L    GF/GA   Points
1      FC Bayern        15    13   2    0       39:7         41
2      Leverkusen       15    12   1    2       32:14       37
3      Dortmund         15    10   1    4       35:16       31
4      M'gladbach       15    10   1    4       33:17       31
5      Schalke             15      7   3    5       30:26       28
6      Wolfsburg         15      8   2     5      23:16       26
7      Hertha BSC       15     6  4     5       22:17       22
8      Mainz                15      6   2    7      22:29       20
9      Augsburg           15     6   2    7      16:23        20
10    Hannover           14     5    2    7     17:22       17
11    Hamburg            15     4    4    7     30:32        16
12    Stuttgart              14    4     4   6     24:26        16
13    Bremen               15     4     4   6    19:34        16
14    Hoffenheim        15     4     5   6     34:35        17
15    Frankfurt            15     2     5   8     18:28        11
16    Freiburg              15     2     5   8     14:28       11
17    Nürnberg             15     0     9   6     14:30        9
18    B'schweig            15     2     2  11      8:28        8

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 15: Dortmund hosts Leverkusen, fight for Spot 2

As the Bundesliga closes to the winter break in mid December, Dortmund will be hosting Bayer Leverkusen in a direct test between the two sides. Dortmund currently trails the factory team by three points, while Bayern Muenchen leads Leverkusen by four.  Bayern will traveling to Bremen, but will be without Arjen Robben, who was injured during the DFB Pokal competition against Augsburg.  Currently he is scheduled to sit out for at least six weeks.

Fourth place Borussia Moenchengladbach trails Dortmund by three points and will be hosting Schalke 04 on Saturday.  Schalke has had a troubled season and has dropped back to fifth spot, four points behind Gladbach.  This is another game that will determine whether Schalke will be able to compete among the top six. Wolfsburg trails Schalke by one point and is guest at SC Freiburg on Sunday.  Freiburg has been struggling to move out of a relegation spot, with just three points ahead of the bottom two, Nuernberg and Braunschweig.

Stuttgart hosts Hanover 96 and the two sides are separated by one point, making this another critical match.  Hamburg hosts Augsburg, another match where the two  sides are only separated by one point.  On Saturday, Frankfurt hosts Hoffenheim and this should be another match to watch.  Hoffenheim has established a reputation this season that its matches will be blessed with lots of goals, which is nerve wrecking for coaches, but a delight for fans.

Eintracht Braunschweig, the struggling new side, continues to sit at the bottom of the league with just eight points.  On Sunday the side hosts Hertha BSC Berlin, which has done extremely well on its return to the top flight.  Braunschweig will be chasing its third win and valuable three points, while Berlin will be looking for three points to solidify its place in the top half of the league.

The weekend promises to be a another exciting one for fans with the top match in Dortmund and important matches for Gladbach and Schalke.  While nothing can be taken for granted, this weekend will be filled, once again with surprises and goals. 

6 December

1. FC Nürnberg vs FSV Mainz 05  1-1

7 December   
   
Bor. Mönchengladbach vs Schalke 04   
VfB Stuttgart vs Hannover 96   
Werder Bremen vs Bayern München   
Hamburger SV vs FC Augsburg   
Eintracht Frankfurt vs 1899 Hoffenheim       
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen   

8 December
   
SC Freiburg vs VfL Wolfsburg       
Eintr. Braunschweig vs Hertha BSC   


Posn  Team             GP   W   D   L    GF/GA   Points
1      FC Bayern        14    12   2    0       32:7         38
2      Leverkusen       14    11   1    2       31:14       34
3      Dortmund         14    10   1    3       35:15       31
4      M'gladbach       14      9   1    4       31:16       28
5      Schalke             14      7   3    4       29:26       24
6      Wolfsburg         14      7   2     5      20:16       23
8      Mainz                15      6   2    7      22:29       20
7      Hertha BSC      14       5  4     5      20:17       19
9      Hannover           14     5    2    7     17:22       17
10    Augsburg           14     5    2    7     15:23        17
11    Hamburg            14     4    4    6     30:31        16
12    Stuttgart              14    4     4   6     24:26        16
13    Bremen               14     4     4   6    19:27        16
14    Hoffenheim        14     3     5   6     32:34        14
15    Frankfurt            14     2     5   7     17:26        11
16    Freiburg              14     2     5   7     14:25       11
17    Nürnberg             15     0     9   6     14:30        9
18    B'schweig            14     2     2  10      8:26        8

DFB Pokal (German FA Cup): Top Trio moves to Quarter Finals

The Bundesliga top trio, FC Bayern Muenchen, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund prevailed in the round of 16 and moved into the quarter finals of the German FA Cup.  Dortmund played the game with a second string side, while Bayern Munich faced a fiesty Augsburg side in the Bavarian derby.  Leverkusen's task was probably the most difficult with SC Freiburg keeping the second placed Bundesliga club nervous.

Second Bundesliga club 1. FC Kaiserslautern eliminated Union Berlin with a convincing 3-0 win. while Hoffenheim prevailed over the struggling Schalke side with a 3-1 victory. VFL Wolfsburg demonstrated some difficulty but did come out ahead over 2nd Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt and Eintracht Frankfurt eliminated SV Sandhausen.

Arjen Robben scored for FC Bayern just four minutes into the match against FC Augsburg.  Robben left the match early, after a tackle by Augsburg's keeper, which appeared to injury the Dutchman's knee. According to Bayern authorities Robben had a knee tear, which had to be cleaned in an Augsburg hospital.  Despite hopes by Pep Guardialo that Robben would be back, it seems that Robben will be out for the next six  weeks. 

While Augsburg took it to Bayern, Bayern closed ranks in the rear and Augsburg seldom had chances.  Thomas Mueller, substituted for Robben, scored the second goal for Munich in the 78th, which was enough to move into the quarter final.

Bayer Leverkusen qualified for the quarter finals for the first time in five years.  Despite a stellar performance by Freiburg, the factory team won by a narrow 2-1 margin.  Robbie Kruse scored for Leverkusen just 28 seconds into the match, but Matthias Ginter got the equalizer in the 19th minute.  The final goal was scored by Leverkusen's Emre Can late in the second half in the 77th minute.  This was a lucky win for Leverkusen.

With goals in the 19th (Julian Schieber) and the 27th minute (Jonas Hofman) Borussia Dortmund easily defeated 1.FC Saarbruecken with a second string side.  Juergen Klopp, troubled with injuries, put many of his younger players into action, which was an opportunity made possible by taking on a third division club.  With first stringers on the bench, resting for the contest against Leverkusen this weekend, the second string side prevailed.  Klopp commented after the game that he was very happy with the sides performance and thought it was amazing what the boys did with very litte game experience.  This was Dortmund's third consecutive qualification for the quarter finals.

1. FC Kaiserslautern remains the only non-Bundesliga club in the competition.  Hamburg, Hoffenheim, Dortmund, Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Frankfurt and Bayern move to the quarter finals, which will be played on February 11 and 12.  The draw for the matches will take place on Sunday December 8. 





3 December

1. FC Union Berlin vs 1. FC Kaiserslautern      0-3         
Hamburger SV vs 1. FC Köln                            2-1
Schalke 04 vs 1899 Hoffenheim                         1-3
1. FC Saarbrücken vs Borussia Dortmund        0-2

4 December
               
SC Freiburg vs Bayer Leverkusen                       1-2
VfL Wolfsburg vs FC Ingolstadt                         2-1
Eintracht Frankfurt vs SV Sandhausen             4-2
FC Augsburg vs Bayern München                      0-2

Monday, 2 December 2013

DFB Cup (German FA Cup): Round of 16: Will the top three advance?

The third round or Group of sixteen (Achtelfinale) of the German FA Federation kicks off on Tuesday, with Bayern Muenchen, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen competing for a slot in the quarter final.  The cup competition is often filled with surprises, where the underdog is capable of defeating some of the top Bundesliga clubs. Will the Bundesliga summit trio survive?

Tuesday Borussia Dortmund travels to Saarbrucken, the only third division club still remaining in the competition.  Three matches feature Bundesliga clubs, SC Freiburg vs Bayer Leverkusen, FC Bayern vs FC Augsburg and Schalke 04 takes on Hoffenheim.  In three matches top flight clubs host 2nd Bundesliga clubs, Hamburger SV hosts 1.FC Koeln, VFL Wolfsburg hosts FC Ingolstadt and Eintracht Frankfurt hosts SV Sandhausen.

When Saarbruecken meets Dortmund on Tuesday, all eyes will be on Saarbruecken to see if the third division club can upset the third placed club in the Bundesliga. The game will be broadcast in Canada on SNET World at 2:30 pm EST.

Bayern Munich travels to their local rival FC Augsburg. Augsburg, which currently in tenth spot in the Bundesliga and is always a hot number.  Thomas Mueller, during an interview says that Bayern is aware that the DFB Pokal is a knock out competition and that there is no room for errors.  Augsburg has a great fighting spirit and is always a difficult task, even for Bayern.

Leverkusen won its match on Saturday, after receiving a beating from Manchester United midweek.  SC Freiburg has been struggling in the league, but can provide a challenge on home ground.  The question is whether or not Leverkusen can now show consistency, which was missing against Manchester United.  Freiburg can always threaten with quick counters.  Leverkusen's defence needs to be tight, while the Leverkusen attack needs to capitalize.

Whether the top trio will advance to the quarter-final remains to be seen.  On paper their chances look pretty good, but this has never been the determining factor in cup competition.

3 December

1. FC Union Berlin vs 1. FC Kaiserslautern      0-3         
Hamburger SV vs 1. FC Köln                            2-1
Schalke 04 vs 1899 Hoffenheim                         1-3
1. FC Saarbrücken vs Borussia Dortmund        0-2

4 December
               
SC Freiburg vs Bayer Leverkusen               
VfL Wolfsburg vs FC Ingolstadt               
Eintracht Frankfurt vs SV Sandhausen           
FC Augsburg vs Bayern München

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 14 Roundup: Top three slide to easy victories

Bayern Munich, Leverkusen and Dortmund all registered wins in this weekend's Bundesliga play.  While Bayern's win was never in doubt with early goals by Arjen Robben (2nd and 30th minute), Braunschweig kept them at bay in the second half.  Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Ribery and Boateng were off the roster and Mueller was replaced by Mandzukic early in the second half. Bayern extended its unbeaten streak to 39. After Bayern's win in Moscow midweek, their eyes were clearly focused on the midweek DFB Cup encounter against FC Augsburg.  Bayern continues to lead the league with four points.

Leverkusen, after its rousting by Manchester United, found their form and handily defeated Nuernberg 3-0.  Son (36th and 76th) and Kiessling (47th) got the counters.   Third placed Borussia Dortmund struggled for some time with the Mainz 05 side.  Aubemayang finally got the opener for the Borussien in the 70th minute, while Choupo-Moting equalized for the hosts in the 74th. Robert Lewanwowki got the go ahead goal in the 78th minute on a penalty, which also send off Soto for a handball.  Lewandowski got his 11th of the season for the insurance goal four minutes into injury time.

Wolfsburg captured a po3int by avoiding a late onslaught from their northern rival Hamburg. In the final 1-1 tally, the scorers were Calhanoglu in the 19th and Rodriguez for Wolfsburg in the 31st.  Wolfsburg holds sixth spot.  Hoffenheim gave up an early two goal lead in the first 45, on goals by Salihovic in the 12th and 18th minute, both on penalty kicks.  Aron Hunt closed the gap at the 45 on a penalty, while Elia got the equalizer for Bremen just before the halfway mark.  Volland and Herdling moved Hoffenheim ahead 4-2 in the 49th and 53rd, before Petersen closed the gap in the 59th.  Bargfreide converted for Bremen in the 90th for the final 4-4 tie.  While the match was a thriller for the fans, the two coaches had to keep checking their blood pressure.

Hertha BSC and FC Augsburg fought to a scoreless draw. The draw moved Berlin out of the top six European spots, while Augsburg moved up into tenth spot.  In the Saturday evening match, Schalke walked over Stuttgart with a much needed 3-0 win.  Farfan scored in the 34th and 47th minute and Jones tripled the score in the 79th.  While Schalke has been inconsistent this season, the win moved the Knappen into the sixth Euro spot,  while Stuttgart continues to struggle in 11th spot.

With one goal on either side of the half, Hanover defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0.  Diouf scored in the 25th minute and Huszti made it two in the 67th minute.  The win moves Hanover into 9th spot, while Frankfurt, despite Euro League success, continues to struggle with 11 points just above the relegation zone.

In the Sunday evening match Borussia Moenchengladbach, kept SC Freiburg at bay on Raffael's goal  in the 62nd minute.  While Freiburg pressed hard during phases of the game, the side seldom became a problem for the Gladbach defence.  Gladbach solidified its place in the top four, four points ahead of Schalke and just three behind Borussia Dortmund.  Freiburg remains in 16th place with 11 points in 14 games, with a record of two wins, five draws and seven losses. 

29 November

VfL Wolfsburg vs Hamburger SV   1-1

 30 November

Bayern München vs Eintr. Braunschweig   2-0    
Bayer Leverkusen vs 1. FC Nürnberg      3-0 
1899 Hoffenheim vs Werder Bremen    4-4
FSV Mainz 05 vs Borussia Dortmund   1-3    
Hertha BSC vs FC Augsburg       0-0
Schalke 04 vs VfB Stuttgart   3-0

1 December
   
Hannover 96 vs Eintracht Frankfurt    2-0   
Bor. Mönchengladbach vs SC Freiburg  1-0

Position------Team-------------------GP--W---D-----L-----GF/A-----Pts

1--------FC Bayern Muenchen-------14---12----2-----0------32-7-------38
2--------Bayer Leverkusen------------14---11----1-----2-----31:14------34
3--------Borussia Dortmund----------14---10----1-----3------36:14------31
4--------Borussia M'gladbach---------14----9----1-----4-----31:16------28
5--------FC Schalke 04----------------14----6----3-----5-----28:27-------24
6--------VFL Wolfsburg---------------14----7----2-----5-----20:16-------23
7------- Hertha BSC Berlin-----------14----5----4-----5-----20:17-------19
8--------Mainz 05----------------------14----6----1-----7-----21:29-------19
9------Hannover 96-------------------14----5----2-----7-----17:22--------17
10------ FCAugsburg-------------------14----5----2-----7----15:23--------17
11------Hamburg------------------------14----4----4-----6-----30:31-------16
12------VFB Stuttgart------------------14----4----4-----6-----24:26-------16
13------Werder Bremen----------------14----4----4-----6----19:27--------16
14------1899 Hoffenheim--------------14----3----5-----6-----32:34-------14
15------Eintracht Frankfurt------------14----2----5-----7-----17:26--------11
16------SC Freiburg--------------------14----2----5-----7-----14:27---------11
17------1. FC Nürnberg----------------14----0----8-----5-----16:29----------8
18------Eintracht Braunschweig------14----2----2----10------8:24----------8

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 14 Preview: Bayern hopes to expand lead, Leverkusen in self confidence crisis

The Bundesliga resumes play this weekend, with Bayern enjoying a four point lead, Leverkusen, second three points ahead of Dortmund, which is head of fourth place Borussia Moenchengladbach by three points.  

With international week and Champions League competition out of the way, the Bundesliga gets back to a fight for the top spot and or attempts to move out of the relegation zone.  Germany's DFB Team was successful with their friendlies, defeating England 1-0 and achieving a draw against Italy.

During Champions League competition, Dortmund and Bayern had positive results, while Schalke managed a draw and Leverkusen needs to rebuild its confidence after a 5-0 trouncing lesson from Manchester United.

The top contenders, on paper, have relatively easy matches on Saturday.  Bayern hosts 17th placed Eintracht Braunschweig, while Leverkusen hosts taillight 1.FC Nuernberg and Dortmund travels to Mainz.  While Braunschweig should not create too many problems for Munich, especially in the Allianz arena, the second last club can provide some difficulty and a win is not a given.  Nuernberg is a force to contend with, despite their last place standing.  A draw against Dortmund is definitely in the cards for Mainz.  For Leverkusen a contest against Nuernberg could be problematic.  Leverkusen is suffering a self-confidence crisis, after their lackluster performance last weekend and the absolute collapse against Manchester United.  Will Bayern expand its lead or can Leverkusen and Dortmund hold pace?  This will be answered on Saturday.

Wolfsburg currently in fifth spot with 22 points hosts Hamburger SV on Friday evening.  The Hanseaten had a difficult start into the season and desperately need a win to move them up from their current 14th spot.  The odds are certainly in favour of Wolfsburg.

The remaining three matches on Saturday match Hoffenheim against Bremen, Berlin hosts Augsburg and Schalke takes on VFB Stuttgart. Both Hoffenheim and Bremen need more success stories and this match could be filled with plenty of goals, but again, come down to the wire.  Berlin had a great start to the season and Augsburg is a fiesty young side, which is hungry.  While Berlin has home team advantage, the side is not guaranteed three points. Either way the match should be a delight for spectators in the Olympia Stadium.  Schalke and Stuttgart are separated by five points in the league standing and both teams need a victory to maintain in contact with the top six.   Schalke has the home team advantage and the home crowd should create hell for the Schwaben.  This should be another good match for spectators.

On Sunday Hanover hosts Eintracht Frankfurt and Borrusia Moenchengladbach welcomes SC Freiburg.  Both Frankfurt and Freiburg hold 15th and 16th spot respectively and desperately need a success story.  Gladbach is in fourth spot, trailing Borussia Dortmund by just three points.  You can bet your bottom dollar that Gladbach will be working hard to get the three points at home.  Hanover has been in a slump lately with a 4-2-5 record and needs a success to move up the ladder.  Both matches should be interesting and close contests.

As Bundesliga play gets underway this weekend, one thing is certain, the fixtures will be sold out and there will be plenty of entertainment along with surprises.  While there are many decisions ahead of the winter break, the club hierarchies must be looking forward to a break.

29 November

VfL Wolfsburg vs Hamburger SV   1-1

 30 November

Bayern München vs Eintr. Braunschweig       
Bayer Leverkusen vs 1. FC Nürnberg       
1899 Hoffenheim vs Werder Bremen   
FSV Mainz 05 vs Borussia Dortmund       
Hertha BSC vs FC Augsburg       
Schalke 04 vs VfB Stuttgart   

1 December
   
Hannover 96 vs Eintracht Frankfurt       
Bor. Mönchengladbach vs SC Freiburg

Position------Team-------------------GP--W---D-----L-----GF/A-----Pts

1--------FC Bayern Muenchen-------13---11----2-----0------30-7-------35
2--------Bayer Leverkusen------------13---10----1-----2-----28:14------31
3--------Borussia Dortmund----------13----9----1-----3------33:13------28
4--------Borussia M'gladbach---------13----8----1-----4-----30:16------25
5--------VFL Wolfsburg---------------14----7----2-----5-----20:16-------23
6--------FC Schalke 04----------------13----5----3-----5-----25:27-------21
7------- Hertha BSC Berlin-----------13----5----3-----5-----20:17-------18
8-------Mainz 05-----------------------13----6----1-----6-----20:25-------19
9-------Hamburg-----------------------14----4----4-----6-----30:31-------16
10------VFB Stuttgart------------------13----4----4-----5-----24:23-------16
11----- FCAugsburg-------------------13----5----1-----7----15:23--------16
12------Werder Bremen----------------13----4----3-----6----15:23--------15
13------Hannover 96-------------------13----4----2-----7-----15:22-------14
14------1899 Hoffenheim--------------13----3----4-----6-----28:30-------13
15------Eintracht Frankfurt------------13----2----5-----6-----17:24--------11
16------SC Freiburg--------------------13----2----5-----6-----14:24---------11
17------Eintracht Braunschweig------13----2----2-----9------8:24----------8
18------1. FC Nürnberg----------------13----0----8-----5-----16:26----------8

Champions League Matchday 5 - Bundesliga clubs, two wins, one draw and on trouncing

Bundesliga clubs matched their trade with clubs from Italy, Russia, England and Romania during matchday 5 of the group stage.  FC Bayern recorded its tenth consecutive Champions League win in Moscow, establishing a new record.  Schalke managed a meagre 2-2 against Steaua Bucharest, while Dortmund won 3-1 against Napoli.  Leverkusen's performance against Manchester United was disappointing as the second place club in the Bundesliga received a convincing 5-0 trouncing at home.

Bayer Leverkusen's loss can be considered a valuable lesson for the factory club.  This was the highest home defeat for Leverkusen and the side no longer has it within its own power to reach the knock out phase.  Manchester United has qualified for the knockout phase and a win in Donetsk will help Leverkusen, but with an overwhelming result for Moyer and Rooney side.

Leverkusen had difficulty finding its feet in the match, with a number of failed passes and were punished in the 22nd minute with Antonio Falencia's goal.  Emir Saphic scored an own goal eight minutes later.  In the 66th minute Johnny Evans made it three, and then the wheels fell off completely.  Chris Smalling (77th) and Wayne Rooney (88th) made the lesson complete with a final score of 5-0.  Rudi Voeller, Leverkusen's Sports Director, said after the game: "I don't have words for what happened here tonight.  We have to rebuilt this teams self-esteem. We never counted on a loss like this, but we still have a chance," while he directed his view on the upcoming match in San Sebastian.  This is without doubt a dark moment in Leverkusen's history.

Snow and wind plagued Schalke in Bucharest.  Without their offensive star Kevin Prince Boateng the side managed a  meager scoreless draw against the Romanians.  In order to advance Schalke needs a victory in their final test with Basel.

65,000 fans were delighted by Dortmund's win over Napoli. The Borussen, which last weekend dropped into third spot in the Bunesliga, appeared to have bounced back and the club gave one of its better performances.  Marco Reus opened the scoring in the tenth minute off a penalty kick, with Jakub Blaszczykowski doubling in the 60th, while Lorenzo got Napoli back in the match in the 71st minute, but the recently substituted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed the victory in the 78th  minute.  Dortmund's next opponent is Marseille, a team, which has disappointed and has no points.  Arsenal plays Naples on matchday 6.  Nothing has been decided in this group of death.  It should be an exciting matchday.

Last but not least was FC Bayern Munich's game against CSKA Moscow.  The Bayern had to play without their Captain Phillip Lahm early on in the match, who had to be substituted due to an upper thigh injury.  Arjen Robben gave the lead to Bayern with a superb combination via Mueller and Toni Kroos.  Mario Goetze in solo attempt, where he went past three defenders scored the second in the 56th minute, before Honda narrowed the gap in the 62nd minute with a penalty kick.  Thomas Mueller closed the deal with his goal in the 65th minute.  This was Bayern's tenth consecutive Champions League victory and they host EPL club Manchester City on December 10th.

While Bayern's qualification for the knock out phase is confirmed, the remaining three Bundesliga clubs have to wait for matchday six results.  Dortmund has the best probability of advancing, but it boils down to the Arsenal vs Napoli match.  For Leverkusen and Schalke it may become a difficult task.  There is little doubt that Leverkusen will do some soul searching after their dismal performance against Manchester United.


Monday, 25 November 2013

Champions League: Bundesliga Club matchups 26, 27 Nov 2013

Champions League play resumes on Tuesday with matchday 5, with four Bundesliga clubs participating. On Tuesday 26 November Schalke travels to Steaua and Borussia Dortmund hosts Napoli.  The highlight on Wednesday 27 November is the matchup between Bayer Leverkusen, currently second in the Bundesliga against EPL champion Manchester United, while FC Bayern Munich travels to Moscow to take on CKSA. 

Current standings

Bayer Leverkusen currently trails Manchester United in Group A by one point (8) and has an opportunity to improve it's chances to move into the knock out phase.  Shaktar Donetsk and Sociedad trail in third and fourth with with 5 and 1 point respectively.  Should Donetsk win, Leverkusen needs at least a draw against United.

FC Bayern Muenchen leads Group D with 12 points, followed by Manchester City with 9, CKSA 3 and Pilzen without points.  Bayern is already qualified for the knockout phase, but a win could secure its top spot.

Schalke 04 holds second place in Group C, behind Chelsea with 9, ahead of FC Basel with 5 and Steaua Bucharest with 2.  A Chelsea win over Basel, coupled with a Schalke win over Steaua will ensure a second place finish for the German side.

Borussia Dortmund is in the worst position of all German sides, holding third spot in Group F, behind Arsenal and Naples with 9 points each.  Marseille is in fourth spot without any points.  Dortmund desperately needs a win to have any chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. 

Preview

Leverkusen vs Manchester United - Leverkusen, after this weekend's narrow win over Hertha BSC Berlin is currently in second place of the Bundesliga, while Manchester United manage a draw against Cardiff on Sunday and holds sixth spot in the Barclay's Premier League.  The Red Devils won their previous encounter with Leverkusen 4-2 in Old Trafford and are widely considered favourites.  Sidney Sam is likely to sit this one out for Leverkusen, due to a thigh injury, while while Phil Jones and Michael Carrick remained sidelined for the visitors.

Possible lineups:

Leverkusen: Leno; Donati, Wollscheid, Toprak, Ctan; Hegeler, Bender, Rolfes, Castro, Son; Kiessling

Man Utd: De Gea; Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Cleverley, Kagawa; Rooney, Welbeck, Van Persie

Steaua Bucharest vs Schalke 04.  Schalke is predicted to win this match, despite Steaua's win record in their last three matches, while Schalke recorded two wins, one draw and two losses in their last five.  During this weekend's Bundesliga play, Schalke gave up a two goal lead to end up with a 3-3 draw.  Schalke defeated Steaua 3-0 at home and managed a 2-1 win and a scoreless draw in 2011. 

Possible Line Ups;

Schalke:  Hildrebrand; Howedes, Aogo, Uchida, Matip; Boateng, Hoger, Neustadter, Draxler;Farfan, Szalai

Steaua: Tatarusanu; Latovlevici, Szukala, Georgievski, Filip; Gardos, Tanase, Bourceanu, Stanciu; Popa, Piovaccari

CKSA Moscow vs FC Bayern Munich:


Borussia Dortmund vs Napoli.  Dortmund's group, which includes Arsenal, Marseille and Napoli, was considered one of the toughest in this year's Champions League campaign. Nevertheless Dortmund was expected to qualify for the knock out round.  Trailing behind Arsenal and Naples in third place, Dortmund's Champions League venture may come to an end.  A win by Arsenal and a Dortmund defeat could relegate Dortmund to the Euro League. 

This past weekend, Dortmund lost its head to head encounter with record champion FC Bayern, after Mario Goetze fired the opening volley.  Bayern then went on to destroy Dortmund with a 3-0 victory. 
Juergen Klopp lost his ever present smile, no doubt, looking forward to the upcoming match with Naples, which will be without defenders Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer and Novan Subotic.  Manuel Friedrich, recently acquired on a free transfer, will not permitted to play. Lukasz Piszczek may also miss the match. He was sidelined on the weekend with a hip complaint. 

 Naples will be without Giandomenico Mesto and Juan Zuniga because of knee complaints.  Naples won their earlier match against Dortmund in Naples 2-1. Dortmund lost three of their last six matches, while Naples lost two.  Dortmund's yellow wall support is needed by the club, after its devastating defeat on the weekend against visiting Bayern.  There is a lot at stake for this  match.

Possible Line Ups:

Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Grosskreutz, Piszczek, Papastathopoulos, Durm; Sahin, Blaszczykowski, Bender, Mkhitaryan, Reus; Lewandowski

Napoli: Reina; Armero, Albiol, Britos, Maggio; Behrami, İnler, Hamsik; Callejon, Insigne; Higuain

Overall analysis:

Schalke and Bayern are expected to win their matches, while Leverkusen will struggle to get a good result against Machester United.  There is a good chance though that they can win that match at home and their recent results appear to indicate the likelihood.  

For struggling Dortmund the Champions League future for this season is on the balance.  Dortmund desperately needs to win against Naples, any other result will be devastating. 

 


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 13 Roundup: Bayern remains on top

Mario Goetze's return to Dortmund was perfected when he scored the opening volley for his new club FC Bayern in the 56th minute, Robben doubled Bayern's lead in the 85th and Thomas Mueller cemented the 3-0 victory in the 87th.  While the score looks one sided, Dortmund was an equal opponent, with plenty of opportunities, but lacked in the finishing department.  Manuel Neuer was tested several times by Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus, demonstrating why he is one of the top two goalies in the world.

Bayer Leverkusen edged a narrow lead over Hertha BSC Berlin with Stephan Kiessling's goal in the 28th minute.  The win moved Leverkusen into second spot, four points behind Bayern and three ahead of Dortmund.

In Friday evening's league opener Borussia Moenchengladbach topped VFB Stuttgart 2-0 in the Daimler Benz Arena.  Goals from Raffael and Ocar Wendt extended Gladbach's winning streak to four.  Raffael's goal came in the 37th minute and Oscar Wendt extended the lead to two in the 73rd.  The win moved Gladbach into fourth spot three points ahead of Wolfsburg.

Wolfsburg fought to a 1-1 draw against Nuernberg.  The point gain left Nuernberg at the bottom of the league, while Wolfsburg maintained its fifth spot.  Arnold put Wolfburg in the lead in the 39th minute, but Ginczek got the equalizer in the 72nd.  Augsburg defeated Hoffenheim 2-0, with goals from Altintop in the 17th and 23rd minute.  Hoffenheim continues to struggle in 13th spot, while Augsburg moved into tenth.  Freiburg edged a 1-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig, but continues to struggle in the final relegation spot,  while Brauschweig remains in 17th spot.

Frankfurt came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first half, to fight for a 3-3 draw with Schalke.  The Knappen moved into sixth spot, while Frankfurt remains in the 15th spot.   In Sunday's match Hamburg walked away with a 3-1 victory over Hanover 96.  Huszti scored the opener for Hanover in the 28th minute, but Badelj got the equalizer in the 31st.  The second half belonged to Hamburg,with two goals from Beister in the 46th and Calhanougli in the 84th.  The win moved Hamburg into 11th spot, while Hanover slipped to 13th.

Shinji Okazaki scored twice to lead Mainz over Werder Bremen 3-2 and moved into 7th spot. Nicolai Müller opened the scoring in the 7th minute, and Okazaki grabbed his first ten minutes later. Okazaki made it 3-0 for Mainz in the 70th minute.  With Bremen appearing down and out, the side fought back, and Eljero Elia pulled one back in the 85th minute. Then, showing signs of life, Franco Di Santo grabbed a goal in stoppage time and narrowed Mainz's lead to one. It was too little too late for Bremen and Mainz walked away with the three points.

As the league moves closer to the Christmas break, nothing has been decided.  Bayern has not been able to perfect a run away lead as during last year's season and the remaining field after the top three can still play a role. 

Friday 22 November

VfB Stuttgart vs Bor. Mönchengladbach   0-2

Saturday 23 November
   
1. FC Nürnberg vs VfL Wolfsburg       1-1
FC Augsburg vs 1899 Hoffenheim       2-0
Eintr. Braunschweig vs SC Freiburg    0-1   
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Schalke 04       3-3
Hertha BSC vs Bayer Leverkusen       0-1
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern München 0-3

Sunday 24 November

   
Hamburger SV vs Hannover 96       
Werder Bremen vs FSV Mainz 05   

Position------Team-------------------GP--W---D-----L-----GF/A-----Pts

1--------FC Bayern Muenchen-------13---11----2-----0------30-7-------35
2--------Bayer Leverkusen------------13---10----1-----2-----28:14------31
3--------Borussia Dortmund----------13----9----1-----3------33:13------28
4--------Borussia M'gladbach---------13----8----1-----4-----30:16------25
5--------VFL Wolfsburg---------------13----7----1-----5-----19:15-------22
6--------FC Schalke 04----------------13----5----3-----5-----25:27-------21
7------- Hertha BSC Berlin-----------13----5----3-----5-----20:17-------18
8-------VFB Stuttgart------------------13----4----4-----5-----24:23-------16
9-------Mainz 05-----------------------12----5----1-----6-----17:23-------16
10----- FCAugsburg-------------------13----5----1-----7----15:23--------16
11------Werder Bremen----------------12----4----3-----5----12:19--------15
12------Hannover 96-------------------12----4----2-----5-----13:18-------14
13------1899 Hoffenheim--------------13----3----4-----6-----28:30-------13
14------Hamburg------------------------12----3----3-----6-----26:29-------12
15------Eintracht Frankfurt------------13----2----5-----6-----17:24--------11
16------SC Freiburg--------------------13----2----5-----6-----14:24---------11
17------Eintracht Braunschweig------13----2----2-----9------8:24----------8
18------1. FC Nürnberg----------------13----0----8-----5-----16:26----------8

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 13 Preview: Clash of the Giants

With international week out of the way, which was relatively successful with Germany's national side getting a draw against Italy and a 1-0 victory over England in London, team mates of the DFB Team will meet Saturday for a  "Clash of the Giants."

Jogi Loew experimented in London and gave some of his younger crop a chance to show their talents.  London resident and Arsenal player Mers Mertesacker got the winning goal with a header of a corner.  Mats Hummels and Schmelzer were replaced early due to injuries as a precaution.  It is not clear if the two Dortmund steadfasts will be available for Saturday's match.  Frank Ribery will be out due to a broken rib. Bayern currently enjoys a four point lead on top of the table and could expand its lead to seven.  Bayer Leverkusen, tied at 28 points with Dortmund has an opportunity to slip into second spot, when the side travels to Berlin.  The Bundesliga table could be completely changed at the end of play on Saturday.

The matchday kicks off with Friday's fixture in the Daimler Benz Arena in Stuttgart, when fourth on the table Borussia Moenchengladbach meets eight placed VFB Stuttgart.  The two sides are separated by six points.  Gladbach with a 7-1-4 sheet in 12 matches will attempt to make up space to close up to the top trio, which it trails by six points.

The remaining matches on Saturday sees Nuernberg hosting Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg, currently in fifth spot will want to build on its success, while Nuernber will attempt to get its first victory of the season.  Wolfsburg trails Gladbach by one point and is currently holding fifth spot.   Augsburg hosts Hoffenheim and the fiesty Bavarians will try to hold off multiple goals from the Hoffenheim side, which holds the notorious record of most goals scored in their matches so far this season.  Braunschweig hosts Freiburg and are even in points.  Can Braunschweig prevail or will Freiburg finally propel itself out of the relegation zone.  Freiburg, which qualified for the Euro League last season, has had an uneasy start.  Eintracht Frankfurt hosts Schalke 04, which still aspires a Champions League spot. Schalke is currently in sixth spot, while Frankfurt has had its problems in the domestic league.

In Sunday's two remaining matches, which see Hamburg host Hanover 96 and Mainz traveling to Bremen, not much movement will be seen on the table.  Mainz, which has had a good start to the season has dropped off with a 5-1-6 record, with Bremen currently holding on to spot ten.  Hanover and Hamburg hold 12th and 14th spot respectively.

Anticipation for this matchday is high and although Dortmund currently trails Munich by four points, the side has been relatively successful in league play against Bayern.  Dortmund has the home pitch advantage and the strategy employed by Juergen Klopp and Pep Guardiola will play a big part.  Possession and solid defending will be a large part of this game and be a decisive factor in the outcome. Either way the fans in Dortmund will be treated to a delight. 

With FOX reaching an agreement with the Bundesliga for next season, the league is expanding its viewing audience in North America.  This will give viewers in the USA and Canada to follow the EPL, the Spanish League and the Bundesliga along with the MLS next season.


Friday 22 November

VfB Stuttgart vs Bor. Mönchengladbach   0-2

Saturday 23 November
   
1. FC Nürnberg vs VfL Wolfsburg       
FC Augsburg vs 1899 Hoffenheim       
Eintr. Braunschweig vs SC Freiburg       
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Schalke 04       
Hertha BSC vs Bayer Leverkusen       
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern München

Sunday 24 November

   
Hamburger SV vs Hannover 96       
Werder Bremen vs FSV Mainz 05   

Position------Team-------------------GP--W---D-----L-----GF/A-----Pts

1--------FC Bayern Muenchen-------12---10----2-----0------27-7-------32
2--------Borussia Dortmund----------12----9----1-----2------33:10------28
3--------Bayer Leverkusen------------12----9----1-----2-----27:14------28
4--------Borussia M'gladbach---------13----8----1-----4-----30:16------25
5--------VFL Wolfsburg---------------12----7----0-----5-----18:14-------21
6--------FC Schalke 04----------------12----5----2-----5-----22:24-------20
7------- Hertha BSC Berlin-----------12----5----3-----4-----20:16-------18
8-------VFB Stuttgart------------------13----4----4-----5-----24:23-------16
9-------Mainz 05-----------------------12----5----1-----6-----17:23-------16
10------Werder Bremen----------------12----4----3-----5----12:19--------15
11------Hannover 96-------------------12----4----2-----5-----13:18-------14
12------1899 Hoffenheim--------------12----3----4-----5-----28:28-------13
13----- FCAugsburg--------------------12----4----1-----7----13:23--------13
14------Hamburg------------------------12----3----3-----6-----26:29-------12
15------Eintracht Frankfurt------------12----2----4-----6-----14:21--------10
16------SC Freiburg--------------------12----1----5-----6-----13:24----------8
17------Eintracht Braunschweig------12----2----2-----8------8:23----------8
18------1. FC Nürnberg----------------12----0----7-----5-----15:25----------7

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 12 Roundup - Bayern takes four point lead

Bayern increased its lead in the Bundesliga to four points  over Dortmund and Leverkusen with a 3-0 win over Augsburg in a local Bavarian derby.  Boateng, Ribery and Thomas Mueller scored for the defending champion, making it the 37th league game without a loss.  Borussia Dortmund lost narrowly, on the road, against VFL Wolfsburg, registering its second loss of the season.  Bayer Leverkusen went head to head with Hamburg, but Son's hattrick contributed to Leverkusen's 5-3 victory. The win puts Leverkusen even on points with Dortmund.

Schalke came back from a one goal deficit with two goals by Kevin-Prince Boateng.  Jefferson Farfan made it 3-1 for the Knappen, moving them into sixth spot. 

47,200 spectators attended the Bundesliga's Friday evening opener.  Braunschweig temporarily left the table tail with a hard fought scoreless tie in the first Lower Saxony derby in 37 years.  This was the one thousandth scoreless tie in the Bundesliga. For Hannover it was the seventh successive match without a victory.  Although Hannover was the driving force of the match, Braunschweig prevented a catastrophe with good defensive work and a few fabulous saves by its keeper Danie Davari.

Adrian Ramos scored twice and set up a third to give Hertha BSC Berlin a 3-2 win over Hoffenheim.  Freiburg, Braunschweig and Nuernberg continue in the relegation spots, with Eintracht Frankfurt just two points out of the zone.  VFB Stuttgart took home a valuable three points from Freiburg, with a 3-1 away victory.  Mainz narrowly won over Eintracht Frankfurt.  Borussia MoenchenGladbach's 3-1 victory catapulted the club into fourth spot, six points ahead of the top contenders.   

The Bundesliga now takes a two week break while the DFB team plays two international friendlies against Italy and England.  With the majority of the DFB team being provided by Bayern and Dortnund, these players will play as a team, prior to going head to head on matchday 13, when  the rubber hits the road when Bayern Muenchen and Dortmund meet in Dortmund. 

8 November   

Hannover 96  vs E. Braunschweig    0-0
 
9 November   

FC Bayern vs FC Augsburg    3-0
Schalke 04 vs Werder Bremen   3-1 
Bayer Leverkusen vs Hamburger SV    5-3
VfL Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund    2-1
1899 Hoffenheim vs Hertha BSC    2-3
M'gladbach vs Nürnberg    3-1

10 November

FSV Mainz 05 vs Eintracht Frankfurt    1-0
SC Freiburg vs VfB Stuttgart  1-3

Position------Team-------------------GP--W---D-----L-----GF/A-----Pts

1--------FC Bayern Muenchen-------12---10----2-----0------27-7-------32
2--------Borussia Dortmund----------12----9----1-----2------33:10------28
3--------Bayer Leverkusen------------12----9----1-----2-----27:14------28
4--------Borussia M'gladbach---------12----7----1-----4-----28:16------22
5--------VFL Wolfsburg---------------12----7----0-----5-----18:14-------21
6--------FC Schalke 04----------------12----5----2-----5-----22:24-------20
7------- Hertha BSC Berlin-----------12----5----3-----4-----20:16-------18
8-------VFB Stuttgart------------------12----4----4-----4-----24:21-------16
9-------Mainz 05-----------------------12----5----1-----6-----17:23-------16
10------Werder Bremen----------------12----4----3-----5----12:19--------15
11------Hannover 96-------------------12----4----2-----5-----13:18-------14
12------1899 Hoffenheim--------------12----3----4-----5-----28:28-------13
13----- FCAugsburg--------------------12----4----1-----7----13:23--------13
14------Hamburg------------------------12----3----3-----6-----26:29-------12
15------Eintracht Frankfurt------------12----2----4-----6-----14:21--------10
16------SC Freiburg--------------------12----1----5-----6-----13:24----------8
17------Eintracht Braunschweig------12----2----2-----8------8:23----------8
18------1. FC Nürnberg----------------12----0----7-----5-----15:25----------7

Friday, 8 November 2013

Bundeslga Matchday 12 Preview - Will Bayern or Dortmund capture the top

The Bundesliga kicks off matchday 12 on Friday evening when Hannover hosts Eintracht Braunschweig.  In the league standings Borussia Dortmund trails Bayern Muenchen by one point and Leverkusen is three points behind Dortmund, but six points ahead of the remaining pack.  Freiburg, Nuernberg and Braunschweig bring up the rear.  Will FC Bayern remain on top or will Dortmund surpass them?  Can Leverkusen keep pace with the top two?

Bundesliga clubs didn't fare well during Champions League and Euro League play during midweek.  While Bayern carved out a narrow victory, Dortmund and Leverkusen lost their matches.  Frankfurt conceded its game, while Freiburg managed a draw in the Euro League.

FC Bayern hosts local rival FC Augsburg on Saturday and these local matches are always in for surprises.  Augsburg has a 4-1-6 record through 11 matches, while Bayern, at least on paper should easily win this match, but will they?  Has the record champion adjusted to Pep Guardiola's system? Their recent difficulty in scoring has shown that there is still a lot of work to be done.

Dortmund travels to Wolfsburg.   The Wolves are in fifth spot with a 6-0-5 record and could provide some heartache for last year's Champions League finalist.  It should be an interesting match.  Leverkusen hosts Hamburg and should win this match with ease. Hamburg is currently in 14th spot.

In the remaining Saturday matches, Schalke hosts Bremen.  These  two clubs are separated by two points and the three points could go to either side.  Hoffenheim hosts Berlin and again both teams have equal chances at winning, with a separation of two points of the two. Gladbach hosts Nuernberg and the Franken are still chasing their first victory this season.  They are not likely to get it in Gladbach.

On Sunday Mainz hosts Frankfurt, while  Freiburg host Stuttgart.  Both Frankfurt and Freiburg despearately need a win to move out of the relegation zone.  Mainz and Stuttgart will play a large role in preventing those victories.

As has been the case in most matchdays, it is hard to predict winners and losers, but one can rest assured that plenty of goals will be on the menu once again. 

8 November   

Hannover 96  vs E. Braunschweig    0-0

9 November   

FC Bayern vs FC Augsburg    
Schalke 04 vs Werder Bremen    
Bayer Leverkusen vs Hamburger SV    
VfL Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund    
1899 Hoffenheim vs Hertha BSC    
M'gladbach vs Nürnberg    

10 November

FSV Mainz 05 vs Eintracht Frankfurt    
SC Freiburg vs VfB Stuttgart

Position------Team-------------------GP--W---D-----L-----GF/A-----Pts

1--------FC Bayern Muenchen-------11----9----2-----0------24-7-------29
2--------Borussia Dortmund----------11----9----1-----1------32:9-------28
3--------Bayer Leverkusen------------11----8----1-----2-----22:11------25
4--------Borussia M'gladbach---------11----6----1-----4-----25:15------19
5--------VFL Wolfsburg---------------11----6----0-----5-----16:13-------18
6--------FC Schalke 04----------------11----4----2-----5-----19:23-------17
7------- Hertha BSC Berlin-----------11----4----3-----4-----17:14-------15
8-------Werder Bremen----------------11----4----3-----4----11:16--------15
9-------Hannover 96-------------------12----4----2-----5-----13:18-------14
10------1899 Hoffenheim--------------11----3----4-----4-----26:25-------13
10------VFB Stuttgart------------------11----3----4-----4-----21:20-------13
12------Mainz 05-----------------------11----4----1-----6-----16:23--------13
13----- FCAugsburg--------------------11----4----1-----6----13:20--------13
14------Hamburg------------------------11----3----3-----5-----23:24-------12
15------Eintracht Frankfurt------------11----2----4-----5-----14:20--------10
16------SC Freiburg--------------------11----1----5-----5-----12:21----------8
17------Eintracht Braunschweig------12----2----2-----8------8:23----------8
18------1. FC Nürnberg----------------11----0----7-----4-----11:22----------7

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Bundesliga Matchay 11 Roundup - Dortmund thrashes Stuttgart, Bayern wins

In a show of class, Robert Lewandowski led Borussia Dortmund, with a hat trick to a 6-1 victory over VFB Stuttgart.  Bayern Munich won its match in Hoffenheim 2-1, while Leverkusen was defeated 1-0 by newcomer Eintracht Frankfurt.  Bayern remains on top of the league, with only one point separating them from Dortmund.  Leverkusen trail s the leaders by three points.

Schalke 04, with a 2-0 victory in Berlin, moved up into sixth spot, but trails Leverkusen by eight points.  Wolfsburg narrowly defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 and is in fifth spot one point ahead of Schalke.  Gladbach 2-0 victory in Hamburg moved the club into fourth place, six points behind Leverkusen. 

Friday 1 November 

Borussia Dortmund vs VfB Stuttgart    6-1

Saturday 2 November

    
1. FC Nürnberg vs SC Freiburg   0-3     
1899 Hoffenheim vs Bayern München      1-2
Hamburger SV vs Bor. Mönchengladbach   0-2     
Eintr. Braunschweig vs Bayer Leverkusen     1-0  
Hertha BSC vs Schalke 04        0-2
Eintracht Frankfurt vs VfL Wolfsburg  1-2

Sunday 3 November
    
FC Augsburg vs FSV Mainz 05     2-1   
Werder Bremen vs Hannover 96    2-1


Position------Team-------------------GP--W---D-----L-----GF/A-----Pts

1--------FC Bayern Muenchen-------11----9----2-----0------24-7-------29
2--------Borussia Dortmund----------11----9----1-----1------32:9-------28
3--------Bayer Leverkusen------------11----8----1-----2-----22:11------25
4--------Borussia M'gladbach---------11----6----1-----4-----25:15------19
5--------VFL Wolfsburg---------------11----6----0-----5-----16:13-------18
6--------FC Schalke 04----------------11----4----2-----5-----19:23-------17
7------- Hertha BSC Berlin-----------11----4----3-----4-----17:14-------15
8-------Werder Bremen----------------11----4----3-----4----11:16--------15
9-------1899 Hoffenheim--------------11----3----4-----4-----26:25-------13
10------VFB Stuttgart------------------11----3----4-----4-----21:20-------13
11-------Hannover 96------------------11----4----1-----5-----13:18-------13
12------Mainz 05-----------------------11----4----1-----6-----16:23--------13
13----- FCAugsburg--------------------11----4----1-----6----13:20--------13
14------Hamburg------------------------11----3----3-----5-----23:24-------12
15------Eintracht Frankfurt------------11----2----4-----5-----14:20--------10
16------SC Freiburg--------------------11----1----5-----5-----12:21----------8
17------1. FC Nürnberg----------------11----0----7-----4-----11:22----------7
18------Eintracht Braunschweig------11----2----1-----8-------8:23----------7